This is it. No really. Not kidding this time. We are 100% definitely going back to school tomorrow... only a week later than what we were supposed to go back. No snow or ice or even frigidly cold temperatures in the forecast for the next week, so it's a GO!
It seems crazy to think that Christmas was three weeks ago, and we're already almost halfway in to January. I haven't been in my classroom since December 20th...that's 23 days. Three weeks since I've seen the faces of my sweet students. It's going to feel like the first day of school all over again.
Christmas break is usually a passage way to some pretty hefty maturing. The kids mature immensely over the changing from one year to the next (and I mean actual year, not school year). For the first few months of school, my students are going through the change from being third graders in to being fourth graders. After New Year, they start the transition from 4th graders in to 5th graders.
The work gets a lot harder, but they are more prepared for it. They are introduced to stuff they've never seen before, but have the ability to make connections to content they have learned before in order to get through it. The bickering and arguing turns in to discussion and compromising. It's almost like getting a brand new set of kids. The same, sweet, faces I know but the personalities are always different. Still the same, amazing kiddos, just more mature, less 3rd grader-ish and more 5th grader-ish.
I am very happy that we got to have an extra week of break. The first week of Christmas break is always hectic because...well...it's Christmas. Family get-togethers, wrapping, unwrapping, clearing up all the mess, showing the kids how to use the new toys, making sure everything fits and works OK. The second week of break is always hectic because it's New Year's week. Clearing away all the Christmas decorations, cleaning the house, celebrating the coming of the New Year. And, then it's time to go back to school. Usually.
But, having this extra week off just gave me a week to do nothing except relax. Take a breather. Gather my thoughts and my energy. Mentally and physically prepare myself for the next five months, because once we do go back the time will fly by and we have so much to do and so little time to do it.
For our first week back, we get to jump right in to Mock MAP testing. Which is the run-through practice for the actual test that will take place some time in April. The tests were supposed to be given before Christmas break, but we had a week off for snow then, too... so that pushed it out until after break. So, it has to be done this week. We don't have anymore time to put it off.
Thankfully, because break was extended by a week, I don't really have that much to do today in lieu of work. I need to tweak my lesson plans a bit, write out some sub plans (because we have a training on Tuesday), but other than that, I can just mentally psych myself up for the first day back.
I just know that the next five months are going to fly by. Now with all the snow, we're not going to have our usual breaks each month... but I'm sure that we'll be so busy trying to make up for lost time, that it won't be that bad.
I'm officially ready, though. Ready to get back in to my classroom. Ready to see my kiddos' faces. Ready to see my co-workers. Ready to get back in to the swing of things.
I have an inkling that our snow days are far from over, but this time around enough is enough. I plan on hitting the ground running, tomorrow. I need to get my car packed up today, because I've acquired so much stuff to take back with me. A new printer for my classroom, a whole case of paper (all for myself), candy and goodies for my treasure box, and the stack of work that I brought home with me all graded and ready to be sent home with the kids tomorrow.
I'm actually really excited. Just like I felt on the first day of school. Nervous about how tired I'm going to be, but ready to start filling the minds of my students.. because that's what I do, best.
But, right now? I have some cleaning and laundry to finish up.
Have an awesome and restful Sunday, everyone!